Musical Bands

System Screenshot

Musical Bands is a project which utilises the iLab SDG Toolkit to offer a multi-mouse and multi-user musical widget. Following the metaphor of using an elastic band to create music, this widget allows for both plucking and stretching of the elastic band to achieve a variety of sounds and tones. A single user can enjoy this widget using one or two mice, or multiple users can play together with a current maximum of four mice.

Table of Contents

Download and Installation

  • Download source for the Musical Bands control.
  • API Documentation, how to use the Musical Bands control.
  • Musical Bands Bulliten Board sample project:

Overview of Control



  • By simply dragging a mouse over an elastic band, the band is plucked, generating a sound.


  • Both pins on an elastic band are movable, allowing a user to stretch an elastic band. This will change the note resulting from a pluck, and will pitch-bend the currently sounding note in relation to the stretch.
  • The sound of the band changes with the length (i.e., a stretched band has a higher pitch than an unstretched one). This relationship is conveyed through the thickness of the elastic. As the elastic band is stretched, it gets thinner.


  • Each elastic band can have a unique colour, allowing a user to associate a particular colour with a sound. This also adds to the aesthetics of the widget.

Map to a MIDI Instrument / Note Range

  • Each elastic band can be mapped to a particular MIDI instrument and note range, allowing for a wide diversity of sounds.
  • Set each band to a different instrument, and you can fine tune an arrangement to your liking.

Maximum and Minimum Length

  • The maximum and minimum length of an elastic band can be specified, allowing for the creation of precise instruments which target a specific sound.

1st Harmonic

  • Using multiple mice, one mouse can touch the middle of the band by left-clicking on middle of the band. While touching the band, another mouse can pluck the string, creating a harmonic sound like the sound which can be produced on a guitar.